The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of State (DOS) said that the agency has not been complying with the Geospatial Data Act of 2018 (GDA) in its latest report from late August.

The GDA requires that all federal agencies collect and preserve geospatial data and make it available to the general public and encourage the use of this data and promote the betterment of all federal agencies and their partners.

“The Department has not fully complied with all responsibilities, in part, because of an inadequate internal control environment. Specifically, the Department lacks dedicated funding to facilitate compliance with its GDA responsibilities. Additionally, the Department does not have adequate control activities, such as documented policies and procedures,” stated the report.

The report went on to make various recommendations that the state department needs to fulfill to be in complete compliance with the GDA. The following are those requirements.

  • OIG recommends that the Bureau of Intelligence and Research review and revise, the existing Work Breakdown Schedule and implementation plans to adequately reflect current and future staffing, resources, and allocation of responsibilities to facilitate implementation of the GDA.
  • OIG recommends that the Bureau of Intelligence and Research review the Department of State’s efforts and activities for each of the applicable covered agency responsibilities prescribed by the Geospatial Data Act of 2018, Section 759(a), codified at 43 United States Code§ 2808 and develop a timeline to craft and issue written policies, procedures, guidance, and best practices to meet each of these applicable covered agency responsibilities.
  • OIG recommends that the Bureau of Intelligences and Research finalize the draft “large Scale International Boundary Update Process Documentation” and approve the document for use.
  • OIG recommends that the Bureau of Intelligence and Research develop and implement a plan that maximizes the use of data obtained from its communication tools by addressing the concerns identified by survey respondents and prioritizing tasks necessary to complete GDA requirements.

The report also found that the department has only complied with six of the 12 responsibilities that the GDA requires, which include records retention, resource allocation, use of data standards, privacy protections, non-duplication of data, and data quality.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.